His supporters say he would have been criticised whatever he decided; critics accuse him of losing his nerve. The British Prime Minister has come under attack from the opposition for deciding not to call a snap election, ending weeks of speculation.
Gordon Brown is said to have made the decision after losing his lead in the polls in a short space of time. The opposition Conservative leader David Cameron made the most of it, with his party saying Brown was frightened by the polls. “I think the prime minister has shown great weakness and indecision,” he said. “It’s quite clear he’s not been focussed on running the country these last few months, he’s been trying to spin his way into a general election campaign and now he’s had to make a humiliating retreat. The big disappointment for me and I thing for millions of people in this country is we are now going to wait possibly two years before we can get the real change we need in our country.”
Brown says he wanted time to show the country what he could do. Labour MP Martin Linton agrees. “You look back at previous prime ministers who called early elections, it’s not exactly very encouraging… Ted Heath did it… Harold Wilson did it… Clement Attlee did it… all of them ended in disaster for their own parties.. I think he has taken the right decision.” Unless Brown changes his mind, Britons will have to wait until at least 2009 for a new poll.